The Creation of the Vivo 53 Concept

Vivo 53 is a modern interpretation of an upbeat, urban pizzeria that you may find in Manhattan or LA. The vibrant, warm environment gives a nod to Italian tradition wrapped in an industrial chic style. The name, Vivo 53 was inspired by the 53 times it took to get the dough recipe just right before finding the perfect combination of ingredients.

The menu at Vivo 53 is focused on handcrafted, artisan pizza that is cooked in a precision-wood fired oven. Beginning with proprietary artisan crust made from high quality ingredients and exclusive baking methods, this well-structured, flavorful crust serves as the base for rich cheeses and cured meats.

The Dough

It is all about the dough. Vivo 53’s proprietary, from scratch crust went through 4 years of testing and 3 master bakers before the exact recipe and process was ultimately determined, thus creating the ideal foundation for the premium ingredients that will top them. All pizzas at Vivo 53 will be baked in the 17’ high, wood-burning, stone-tiled cylinder oven, the centerpiece of the dining room. A rotating selection of 9 pizzas will appeal to vegetarians; Roasted Mushroom with Taleggio cheese, roasted garlic, caramelized onion and thyme and to carnivores; Meat Paradiso with fennel sausage, salumi, mortadella, guanciale, fresh mozzarella, chili-fennel soffritto.


While pizza will capture the spotlight of the dining experience, Vivo 53 will also offer a selection of salads and Italian-inspired Antipasti: Bruschetta– Corona fagioli, herbs, pickled chilies, E.V.O.O. and Roasted Bone Marrow, salsa verde and crostini.

As an alternative to pizza, Panini’s- like the aptly named “Italian” with coppacola, soppressata, mortadella, fontina, Mama Lil’s Kick Butt peppers, red onion, tomatoes and half-dozen Pastas will rotate on the menu with choices both familiar and unique. Seafood from the region will be featured to include “Uni Spaghetti” with lobster stock, garlic, shallots, fermented chilies, parsley and E.V.O.O.


Overseeing the development of the brand, design of the restaurant, launch and operations is The Gilkey Restaurant Consulting Group. With clients that include Princess Cruise Lines, Urth Café we are very enthusiastic about Vivo 53’s location. Vivo has two restaurants open now; one in downtown Bellevue, Washington and one in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Bellevue is the most recent launch and says Gilkey: “Bellevue is exploding thanks to the incredible growth of the region. When we first saw this site with the ivy-covered brick, I knew this place was meant to be a first class pizzeria. We are thrilled to be a new addition to the city and we look forward to serving great pizza in Bellevue for many years to come.”


Interactivity will be prominent in all corners of Vivo 53’s lively, market-like space with seating options in the dining room, at the counter surrounding the pizza oven, charcuterie counter and at the14-seat cocktail bar. Los Angeles-based architectural designer, Greg Bleier of Studio Unltd, who brings a design aesthetic that reflects Vivo 53’s urban setting, created the restaurant’s décor. The “refined industrial” space utilizes brick, steel and richly hued woods. As a whimsical nod to Italy, the brick wall showcases a mural of a Fiat pizza delivery car, painted by Seattle artist, Jeff Jacobsen of Weirdocult.

Craft Bar

Bar Manager, Dan Yeisley, brings his mixology experience to Vivo 53’s beverages producing craft cocktails that incorporate house made syrups, soda and tonic, and a curated list of drinks like his riff of the “53 Manhattan” using Rittenhouse Amaro Nonino, Fernet, Yellow Chartreuse and brandied cherry juice or the “Near-Groni” with Hophead vodka, Petal & Thorn Vermouth and Meletti Amaro.

The wine list will be concentrated toward producers from Washington, Oregon, California and Italy while beer; available on tap, bottle and can, will focus on local and regional breweries.


Vivo 53 is an ideal fit for The Bellevue Collection. “Chef inspired, boutique restaurants are well received by our guests,” says Jennifer Leavitt, vice president of marketing for The Bellevue Collection. “We offer such a dynamic setting, that fresh ideas like Vivo53 thrive. Our customer wants unique cuisine experiences with the great character a street front location affords like Vivo’s ideal presence on Bellevue Way. We could not be more excited to add them to our strong restaurant offering.”